Dryer vents: Problems with vent covers

Save money and possibly your home with this quick fix. 

Dryer vents are a fire hazard, and can be a real maintenance issue and if you’ve read our previous article you should have a good understanding on the importance of regularly scheduled dryer vent cleaning. If one of your buildings is having an ongoing issue, we have a suggestion that might help solve the problem. Change the exterior vent cover.

Often builders place orders for vents without acknowledging these vents perform a different function and therefore require a different vent cover. Perhaps they get cost savings by buying the same style in bulk. Whatever the case, there are numerous ways to cut corners on a job for which the repercussions aren’t immediately felt.

What should you look for?
Perform an inspection of the vent covers on the outside of the building. If the wrong type of cover is used it can actually prevent the hot air and lint from escaping the building. Dryer vents are different from any other vent in that more than just air is meant to escape.  The best vent is a cover with a simple flap with no mesh grille, it opens when air forces it, and closes when the dryer is off.

The problems occur when the openings are too small or there is mesh installed over the vent as they clog very easily. In addition, these small openings do not allow the use of professional dryer vent cleaning tools.

Good air flow is critical for proper venting. Anything that prohibits lint from leaving the system is a bad idea.